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Historians Gather For Conference on Revolutions Nov. 4

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Historians from across the world will gather at UNH Friday, Nov. 4, to discuss the revolutionary movements that transformed Europe, Africa, and the Americas during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

“Atlantic Networks and the Problem of Liberty in the Age of Revolutions, 1776-1815” will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Elliott Alumni Center. The conference is free and open to the public.

The conference will bring together leading scholars and members of the UNH history department to discuss new research about the age of revolutions in the Atlantic world, focusing on the individuals and their communications networks that connected these movements.

Between 1776 and 1815, revolutionary movements transformed many parts of the Atlantic world, not just France and the United States. In the Caribbean, many parts of Central and South America, along the African coast and throughout Europe, old institutions were overthrown and new states and political cultures created.

Across the Atlantic world, philosophers, journalists, merchants, and “revolutionary tourists” formed bridges between these sites of revolution, while print media and private correspondence transmitted ideas and connected individuals in far-flung locations. The Atlantic world had never been so tightly interconnected as it was at the end of the 18th century when revolutionaries in Europe, North America, and the Caribbean who believed in universal freedom and peace took risks to propagate and implement their ideals.

The schedule is as follows:

8-8:30 a.m.   Registration and coffee

8:30-9 a.m.   Opening remarks

9-10:30 a.m. Border crossers

  • “Networks and Movements: 21st Century Perspectives in 18th Century Revolutions,” John Voll, Georgetown University
  • “Military Networks and the Struggle for Liberty: Spain’s Black Militias in the Atlantic World,” Jane Landers, Vanderbilt University
  • “Itinerants Among Nations,” Janet Polasky, UNH

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.  Commerce, Letters and the Press

  • “Business and Liberty: Four Patriots during the Atlantic Revolution,” Annie Jourdan, University of Amsterdam
  • “Mars and Venus: Women Writing Scandal in the Age of Revolutions,” Sarah Knott, Indiana University and American Historical Review
  • “Activist Networks and the Circulation of News from Saint-Domingue During the French Revolution,” Jeremy Popkin, University of Kentucky

2-3:30 p.m.   Entangled Identities

  • “Roman Catholic Libertinism in a New North Atlantic World, 1760-1829,” Luca Codignola, University of Genoa
  • “Rebels, Revolutions and Race: ‘Ethnic,’ Racial and Ideological Entanglements in Early Freetown, Sierra Leone,” Jim Sidbury, Rice University
  • “1794: The Year America’s World Changed,” Eliga Gould, UNH

3:30-5 p.m.   Public reception

The conference is sponsored by the UNH department of history and is made possible with support of the Dunfey Endowment at UNH. For more information on the conference, visit http://www.unh.edu/history/dunfey2011.